Michael Wolf: Toyko Compression

Tokyo Compression is a solo exhibition by the acclaimed German artist and photographer Michael Wolf, which consists of 72 photographs and 8 lithographs drawn from a wider collection of images from the series, shot over 4 years at Tokyo's Shimo-Kitazawa Station.

Well known for its documentation of high-density urban life, Tokyo Compressed focuses on the claustrophobic experience of commuting in the Tokyo subway, where millions of commuters travel between work and home daily. Unsettling images of subjects taped to windows, sandwiched in transitional spaces between home and work, capture the inconvenience of life in densely populated urban centers.

The work is presented as a single-line installation that evokes the restraint of a passing train, with passengers crowded against the windows. Throughout the series, the viewer can see the artist abstracting his subjects through reframing and cropping, pressing skin against windows, partially obscured and obscured by condensation on the glass, or shielded by surgical masks. The sense of discomfort and anxiety caused by overcrowding is omnipresent throughout the series, as its subjects long to seek retreat and tranquility through closed eyes and headphones. The commuters' closed eyes and hands pressed against the car windows to cover their faces present an act of resistance to the artist's lens. In contrast, others meet Wolf's gaze through the viewfinder, establishing a connection between the subject and the artist's close contact.

Michael Wolf - << Tokyo Compression >>

Date: 17 May – 29 Jun 2024
Gallery: Flowers Gallery
Address: 49 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

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